Health Ministry moves to develop LMIS
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Over the years, the health sector has achieved several firsts for Guyana, and yesterday the commencement of a three-day workshop to address development of a national Logistics Management Information System (LMIS) marked another one.
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration
with Supply Chain Management System (SCMS), through UNAIDS, undertook the activity,  at Duke Lodge, Duke Street, Kingston, with the aim of strengthening the supply chain, optimising management processes, and to identifying  key indicators and logistics information for reporting and evidence-based decision making.
Mr. Andy Marsden, one of the facilitators attached to SCMS, noted that his group has been functioning in Guyana since 2006 and a key point that has been made clear since then is that strengthening the health sector means targeted efforts to address the entire system.
“There have been many firsts for Guyana with the Ministry of Health and SCMS partnership,” Marsden said.
He explained that some of the “firsts” include a SCMS long term strategic plan, support to manage the Health Ministry’s medical supplies warehouse, and a fully automated warehouse managing system in operation.
Reflecting on the success his group has had to date, Marsden said SCMS is looking to other areas to support, hence focus on the LMIS.
Marsden observed that a state of the art LMIS will soon be a reality for Guyana.
To this end, the workshop sought to identify, define and validate the prevailing LMIS issues with key stakeholders, define critical components of the supply chain with respect to the LMIS, and define key requirements for a Guyana specific LMIS.
In the three days of deliberations, areas including the regulatory environment, facility inventory management assessment feedback, performance improvement indicators, and LMIS case studies, as well as the way forward, will be addressed.
In addition to this, Marsden noted that working with agencies of the Health Ministry, SCMS’ key objectives are to:
* support timely, accurate and regular national quantification and supply planning using standardized methodology and tools for all health commodities in the public sector;
* support the harmonization of the inventory management system throughout the public health supply chain;
* support generation and reporting of accurate inventory date for decision-making and a world class Materials Management Utility (MMU);
* support the design implementation of a harmonized, integrated and sustainable national LMIS that is fully aligned with the overarching Health Ministry’s management information strategy; and
* provide an efficient enabling platform that captures, communicates and analyses consumption, morbidity and programme data to improve health care decision- making at all levels.
“Without this (the LMIS) good decisions cannot be made,” Marsden asserted.
Statistics released by the Health Ministry indicate that at present Guyana’s investment in medicines and medical supplies is higher that in any other Caribbean country. Of over US$100 that is spent, per capita, in the public health system, a total of US$35 per capita is expended on medical supplies.
Additionally, Guyana stands out with its free medical policy.

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